Silverpeak sponsors the ‘Oscars of the Technology Industry’ hosted by The Information Technologists

Silverpeak is delighted to be sponsoring once again the Enterprise Awards which are the ‘Oscars of the Technology Industry’ hosted by The Information Technologists, the City of London’s 100th Livery company formed to contribute to the growth and development of the ICT industry. The spirit of the awards is all about recognising and celebrating the very best of the UK’s technology entrepreneurial talent.

Uniquely focused on the founder rather than the businesses themselves, the Enterprise Awards boasts previous winners that have achieved prominence on both private and public markets.

Paddy MccGwire, Silverpeak Managing Partner, sits on the judging panel who look for examples of vision, growth, innovation, funding, use of capital, use of resources, strategy, execution, ambition and determination to succeed.

The Award Categories include:

Young Entrepreneur – for entrepreneurs under 30
Start-Up Entrepreneur – trading for two years or less
Emerging Entrepreneur – up to £3 million annual revenue
Developing Entrepreneur – annual revenue between £3 and £10 million
Scaling Up Award – fastest growing companies
Public Sector Award – excellence and achievement in the Public Sector
Enterprise Entrepreneur – annual revenue over £10 million
Social Enterprise Entrepreneur – entrepreneurs with a business model that gives something back
Female Entrepreneur – for outstanding female entrepreneurs
Listed Company Entrepreneur – for entrepreneurs leading a Listed Company
Deep Tech Entrepreneur – game-changing, innovative, unique, core technology

For details of how to enter and to download an entry form, please go to www.enterprise-awards.co.uk.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday 30 April 2019

B2B Software Leadership Dinner: Software leaders call for greater alignment as sector grows

There is significant capital for growth-stage business-to-business (B2B) SaaS and software companies, but early-stage fundraising is more challenging; subscription is the preferred revenue model, but perpetual licenses are still used in certain settings; “SaaS businesses” can differ in revenue models, delivery models, payment terms depending on their geographical and vertical reference market.

These were the conclusions drawn from the latest B2B Software Leadership Dinner in London.

The dinner took place on Wednesday 6 February and featured 20 senior executive and board members from the software and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) sector. It was hosted by Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, Spectrum, the retained executive search and HR consulting firm for the technology sector, and technology law firm Wiggin.

“It was a wonderful dinner with the participation of 20 great executives & directors,” said Pietro Strada, Managing Partner at Silverpeak. “I think it demonstrates the quality and maturity of the software and SaaS sectors in Europe: it is clearly a very healthy and strong market.”

While the evening took place under Chatham House rules, some key points of discussion have been released.

Attendees agreed that while there is significant capital available for growth-stage B2B software companies, it was generally considered to be more difficult to secure early stage fundraising.

Furthermore, there are some major national and sectoral differences with regards to the adoption of SaaS vs. perpetual licenses, and in some cases, SaaS can represent different things to different people.

For some, it is closely affiliated with a company’s revenue model (subscription) or payment terms (annually/quarterly/monthly in advance), while for others it is about delivery (multi-tenant single-instance) and cloud hosting. For companies in certain sectors, e.g. financial services, SaaS may raise concerns about data capture and storage costs connected with these software services.

Given these various points of differentiation, the business leaders present at the dinner agreed that more needs to be done to communicate the characteristics and benefits of SaaS.

Ultimately the key success metric for B2B SaaS companies is customer adoption and utilisation, which requires the key implementation departments in the company to be aligned. It also requires SaaS providers to follow good business disciplines, such as understanding their clients’ needs and having a product that addresses them.

The group also agreed that whilst there are some common key performance indicators (KPIs) of SaaS companies, such as LTV or CAC or churn, the way in which they are calculated can vary. Senior managers should able to calculate them and present them into the context of their own businesses.

Silverpeak director David Bell revealed that some lively discussions took place among attendees, which is further evidence of the dynamic nature of the sector.

“We had a wide ranging-discussion, touching on the commercial, operational and financial insights of and challenges for B2B software businesses in diverse verticals and differing stages of maturity,” said Bell. “And somewhat surprisingly there were even some impromptu contractual negotiations taking place in the room.”

Silverpeak instrumental in sale of Dictate IT to Clanwilliam Group

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Dictate IT, a leading provider of digital dictation, outsourced transcription, and speech recognition services to 27 healthcare providers in the UK and Ireland, on its sale to Clanwilliam Group, the global healthcare technology provider.

The acquisition brings Dictate IT under the umbrella of the rapidly expanding health investor, Clanwilliam Group, as part of the mergers and acquisitions strategy that it launched in 2014. As a result, Dictate IT will be able to expand its reach, make further investments in its solution and realise all the benefits of partnering with other companies in the Group to strengthen its market position.

Silverpeak played a significant role in the sale, working with Dictate IT as financial advisor running an M&A process: from the preparation phase, identifying and contacting a global array of knowledgeable counterparties, negotiating the deal terms with multiple parties, and managing through to completion.

Commenting on the deal, Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak, said: “This is another successful health-tech company sale to a strategic acquirer having followed a twin track private equity and strategic process. I have been impressed watching Dictate IT’s Managing Director, Mark Miller develop the business over the last 14 years. This has included developing its proprietary medical speech recognition engine built on a state of the art DNN (Deep Neural Net) acoustic model and using cutting edge RNN (Recurrent Neural Net) language rescoring – the solution outperforms all other solutions currently available and has achieved the market leading position. The sale to Clanwilliam Group provides the opportunity for Dictate IT to accelerate its growth trajectory in an entrepreneurial culture. The simultaneous sale of its Indian associate company added complexity to this multi-jurisdiction transaction. “

Mark Miller, Managing Director at Dictate IT, said: “I would recommend Silverpeak without hesitation. A sale of a company is, for most, the culmination of many years of work and the outcome of the sale will likely define much of the hope and aspiration for the years ahead. It is important to get it right and to choose people who are totally committed to the best outcome. The Silverpeak team work extremely hard, are capable and knowledgeable and involve themselves in every aspect of the transaction. They maintain a steady focus on the outcome and a good humour which is important when dealing with things over which so much importance is attached.”

Silverpeak facilitates €10m funding round for industrial internet cybersecurity pioneer, Sentryo

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, has been instrumental in securing €10M in Series A Financing for the cutting-edge Industrial Internet cybersecurity firm, Sentryo. The funding, which completed in November this year, reflects the growing significance of Sentryo’s distributed technology architecture against the backdrop of increased industrial cybersecurity attacks.

Advice on the valuation of the company and the size of the round was provided by Silverpeak to the Sentryo Board. Silverpeak’s team of finance experts also delivered strategic guidance prior to approaching the market for investors in Europe and the United States. In order for Sentryo to move forward with its expansion activities in the US from Q2 2018, Silverpeak recommended a two-phase approach for the funding. The first phase with Sopra Steria and BNP Paribas Développement completed in April, and the second tranche with Omnes and Alliance Entreprendre which has just been finalised.

Thierry Rouquet, CEO at Sentryo, said: “It was a pleasure to work with the Silverpeak team across their London and Paris offices. Silverpeak worked tirelessly to close the round and came up with an innovative two step closing which allowed Sentryo to meet its goal by bringing together both financial and strategic investors. We look forward to driving the business forward, including its expansion in the US which the financing in place now allows.”

Sentryo specialises in solutions that protect operational technology from the threat of cyber-attack. The company’s ICS CyberVision platform gives control engineers comprehensive visibility on their systems, detects anomalies and accelerates response to cybersecurity incidents to minimise the impact. The funding will be used to accelerate not only expansion in the US, but across Europe too.

Jean-Michel Deligny, a Senior Advisor at Silverpeak, said: “Industrial cybersecurity is a strategic topic but still an emerging market. Sentryo shows technical excellence as well as a focused indirect selling strategy and is expanding to the US, based on key partnerships with the likes of Cisco and Siemens. This makes Sentryo one the most capital innovative and efficient companies in the business and this is why Silverpeak took on the assignment. As always, Silverpeak showed the sort of tenacity which is needed for a successful financing.”

Alex de Gandt, Director at Silverpeak said: “We explored various financing options, and contacted investors globally, both strategic and financial. In the end, the round brings the best of French investors, to support an ambitious plan to expand in Sentryo’s core European markets, as well as grow in the US. We look forward to continue working with Sentryo as the company accelerates internationally.”

Silverpeak advises EFFECT Photonics on its Series B funding

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to EFFECT Photonics B.V., a leading developer of high performance DWDM optical components based on its optical System-on-Chip, on its Series B funding round led by Innovation Industries.

The funding round accelerates the ramp of its tunable SFP production line and the development of future technologies. EFFECT addresses the need for low-cost, wavelength-tunable optical transceivers with industrial temperature specification to be deployed within the next generation 5G mobile infrastructure, as well as in other networking applications. The global market demand for optical transceivers is expected to grow to $12bn by 2023, from $6bn in 2017 (Lightcounting, 2018).

Silverpeak worked with the company as financial advisor supporting it during the entire process: from the preparation phase, to identifying and contacting a global array of knowledgeable investors, to negotiating the deal terms, through to completion.

James Regan, CEO of EFFECT Photonics, said: “Silverpeak’s deep understanding of optical technologies combined with their relationships in the global investor landscape proved invaluable. They showed total dedication throughout the process and their expertise and advice were instrumental in closing this round of financing for our growth phase.”

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner at Silverpeak and leading the mandate, added: “We are proud to have worked with James and the whole EFFECT Photonics management team and Supervisory Board at this pivotal stage in the company’s trajectory. EFFECT Photonics is at the global forefront of ultra-fast optical integrated circuits and are well placed to take advantage of the huge opportunities in their space.”

Nard Sintenie, General Partner at Innovation Industries, said: “We are delighted to have invested in EFFECT Photonics. We believe that the company and the deal process benefitted from Silverpeak’s assistance and enjoyed working with them.”

Silverpeak advises smart ticketing technology provider Ticketer on investment by Tenzing

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ticketer, the UK’s leading provider of bus ticketing technology, on its investment by Tenzing Private Equity

Since entering the market in 2010, Ticketer has grown to become the UK market leader at the forefront of smart electronic ticketing technology across the bus sector. Ticketer’s software enables passengers to use the latest payments technologies, whilst providing bus operators with real-time performance insights to improve efficiency, service levels and profitability.

Widely renowned as the most innovative provider in the industry, Ticketer’s clients include some of the largest national operators, including First Bus, Arriva, and Go-Ahead, and some 70% of the UK’s regional operators. The company has achieved outstanding revenue growth of over 50% year-on-year over the last three years.

Tenzing has backed the senior management team, led by John Clarfelt and Gordon Montgomery. Together with its Entrepreneurs Panel, Tenzing will support the team’s ambition to grow the business in the UK and internationally.

Silverpeak worked with the company as lead advisor to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential investors and negotiate a transaction through to final completion.

Gordon Montgomery, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ticketer, said: “Silverpeak were incredibly professional and supportive throughout. They went above and beyond in helping to get the deal over the line.”

David Ford, Director at Silverpeak, said “With the current growth in Smart Transit and Mobility-as-a-Service, Ticketer has many opportunities to help its clients produce better transport experiences. Working with the great team at Tenzing will help them achieve that much faster.”

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner at Silverpeak added, “We are very proud to have worked on this transaction with John, Gordon and the whole Ticketer team.”

This is the fourth transaction for Silverpeak in the mobility sector following the fundraising announced last month for Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle software company.

 

Silverpeak advises Oxbotica on £14m funding to accelerate deployment of self-driving vehicles

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle software company, on a £14 million round of funding to support the next stage of its growth strategy. Funds were secured from three leading investors: IP Group plc, Parkwalk Advisors and AXA XL (formerly XL Catlin).

The autonomous vehicle software developer will use the funding to scale its activities in Europe, Asia and the US market, further accelerating Oxbotica’s sustained growth. Oxbotica’s customers include some of the world’s most prominent businesses in sectors including aerospace, automotive, construction, logistics and mining. Its software has been deployed across multiple industry-leading projects where the future application of autonomy is being trialled, such as with Ocado, at Heathrow Airport and on major city streets.

Based in Oxford, Oxbotica was founded in 2014 by Professors Paul Newman and Ingmar Posner. Oxbotica’s software uses the latest in computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable vehicles to operate autonomously in any environment and on any terrain. This has made it an attractive solution for many enterprises looking to increase efficiency, productivity and safety.

Silverpeak worked with the company as lead advisor over six months to identify and contact a global array of potential investors creating a competitive selection.

Clive Scrivener, Chairman of Oxbotica, said: “Silverpeak ran a full process and provided us with a choice of investment options. We are delighted with the investment partners we have brought on board.”

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner leading for Silverpeak added, “It was a pleasure working with a world class team. We are very impressed with the way Oxbotica has been built so far, and this funding will unleash the next stage of planned development. This is a truly exciting company.”

Paul Newman, Co-Founder of Oxbotica, said: “The domain-agnostic design of our technology, as well as its independence from external infrastructure such as GPS, makes it uniquely versatile across a range of industries. This has allowed us to trade from day one, attracting a significant blue-chip customer base.
“Together with our customers and partners, my fellow founder Ingmar Posner and I look forward to taking our technology – and our products – to the next level.”

Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, said: “We are on a mission to bring autonomous software to the world’s biggest markets. We have already seen extraordinary demand from a range of sectors and markets, with the successful deployment of our technology across a strong customer base over the previous four years.
“This injection of funds comes as we move the business into its next growth phase, enabling us to deliver our ambitious plans to scale our capabilities and international presence. To help us achieve this, we are very pleased to welcome our investors to the company and Jamie Vollbracht from IP Group on to our board.”

Jamie Vollbracht, Cleantech Partner at IP Group, said: “IP Group is extremely excited about Oxbotica; the company’s highly differentiated approach unlocks a wealth of opportunities. Impressively, by winning substantial contracts with major customers, Oxbotica has been able to fund activities to date without the need for investment. IP Group is therefore delighted to have been selected by Oxbotica as its investment partner as it looks to capitalise on the next phase of growth. I’m very much looking forward to working with the rest of the board and wider team to help capture the many benefits of this technology for all stakeholders.”

Gowling WLG, who have had a relationship with Oxbotica since the spin-out, were lawyers to the company.

 

Winners announced at Silverpeak sponsored Enterprise Awards

The Silverpeak team were delighted to attend the 8th WCIT Enterprise Awards dinner last night to celebrate some of the most successful technology entrepreneurs in the UK & Ireland

Congratulations to all the finalists & winners.

Young Entrepreneur
Ben Grech, Uniplaces
Andrew Murkerjee, Brisqq
Tim Sadler, Tessian (WINNER)
Charles Taylor, Debut
Imogen Wethered, Qudini (WINNER)

Evergreen Entrepreneur 
David Cocks, CloudTrade
Jeffrey Kofman, Trint
Jeremy Wood, Legerity (WINNER)

Female Entrepreneur
Rachel Carrell, Koru Kids
Sheri Jacobson, Harley Therapy
Lilia Stoyanov, Transformify (WINNER)

Social Enterprise Entrepreneur    
Rachel Carrell, Koru Kids
Nic Cary, Blockchain
Katie Massie-Taylor, MusH
Graeme Risby, Hiyacar
James Walker, Resolver (WINNER)
Alice Weightman, The Work Crowd
Public Sector Entrepreneur 
Jason Fahy, MYGOV
James Herbert, NotBinary (WINNER)
Priya Lakhani, Century Tech
Frances Toye, Unilink Software

Emerging Entrepreneur – Finalists
George Bevis, Tide (WINNER)
Steve Callanan, WIREWAX
Jeffrey Kofman, Trint
Tim Sadler, Tessian
Robert Sewell, SmartFrame Technologies

Developing Entrepreneur 
Peter Baumann, Active Navigation
David Griffiths, Fiscal Technologies
Vishal Marria, Quantexa (WINNER)
Jeremy Wood, Legerity

Scale Up Entrepreneur         
John Bates, Eggplant
Peter Baumann, Active Navigation
Nic Cary, Blockchain
Matthew Elson, SHE Software
Vishal Marria, Quantexa
Terry Walby, Thoughtonomy (WINNER)
James Walker, Resolver

Enterprise Entrepreneur 
Richard Jeffery, ActiveOps (WINNER)
Crispin Moger, Marmalade
David Poole, Symphony Ventures
Sean Taylor, Redwood Technologies Group

Listed Company Entrepreneur 
David Richards, WANdisco (WINNER)

Judges Special Award 
Nic Cary, Blockchain (WINNER)
Priya Lakhani, Century Tech

Mentor of the Year
John O’Connell, Scaleup Group (WINNER)

Silverpeak advises Scality on $60m funding round

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Scality, a leader in software for distributed file and object storage and multi-cloud data control, on an additional $60 million round of funding to continue executing on its technology innovation strategy as it makes multi-cloud real for its customers.

This latest funding round, which brings the company’s total funding to date to $152 million, includes participation from all existing investors, Scality staff, and a new investor, Harbert European Growth Capital.

Recognized as a leader in distributed file and object storage by Gartner and IDC, Scality builds the most powerful storage tools to make data easy to protect, search and manage anytime, on any cloud. It gives customers the freedom and control necessary to be competitive in a data driven economy.

Silverpeak worked with the company as lead adviser to identify and contact potential investors and negotiate a transaction through to final completion. Silverpeak had a key role in helping Scality to articulate its story to investors, in terms of both strategic positioning and financial trajectory. Silverpeak approached a broad range of international investors to support the growth of the company and the launch of its multi-public cloud product Zenko. The process helped the company target both growth investors and large venture funds willing to back the new product.

The syndicate assembled reflects the performance of the company and its growing role in helping clients make best use of different public cloud providers.

Jerome Lecat, CEO of Scality said, “Silverpeak proved invaluable in approaching investors in all geographies. They really helped in refining the Scality story and packaging it in a way that was easily understood by investors. Working with Silverpeak was seamless, especially working on a cross-Atlantic situation such as Scality and that proved a successful combination.”

Jean-Michel Deligny, the Managing Director at Silverpeak leading the process added, “Scality is unique as the only independent software vendor in data management software which has made it to the top quadrant in Gartner’s research. The challenge of the fund-raising was to get recognition from investors while Scality is in the process of launching its industry-first multi-public cloud SaaS product. The syndicate supports this continuing expansion of the company, which already operates successfully in Europe, the US and Japan.”